Clemson football is “DLU” and that will be on display again in 2020 with KJ Henry and Xavier Thomas.
The 2018 Clemson football signing class was one for the ages. The Tigers signed five 5-star products, including three of the top 14 prospects in the country; Trevor Lawrence, Xavier Thomas, and KJ Henry.
In 2018, Lawrence and Thomas would help lead the Tigers to their second national title in three years while Henry opted to redshirt in order to get stronger instead of playing a handful of snaps as a backup to Austin Bryant.
That decision is one that not many highly recruited prospects make. Henry actually asked the coaching staff to redshirt with his eyes on his future. As we know Clemson football head coach Dabo Swinney obliged with the caveat that should injuries dictate that they burn his redshirt, they would.
Thankfully for all involved, that never happened.
In 2020, with both Henry and Thomas healthy, we will finally get to see them wreak havoc together on the field much to the chagrin of opposing offensive coordinators that will somehow have to game plan for this two-headed monster.
Clemson football will feature one of the top pass-rushing duos in the country.
While pundits love to talk about how bad the ACC is as a whole, thus allowing Clemson football to walk right into their sixth straight College Football Playoff that simply is not the case. When you look at the conference in 2020, some of the best players in the country will suit up for an ACC team; especially pass rushers.
Five of the top 10 pass rushers in the country will play in the ACC this season. None of the top 10 pass rushers will play for any of the SEC schools in 2020. The ACC will feature Quincy Roche, Patrick Jones, Carlos Basham, Gregory Rousseau, Xavier Thomas, and KJ Henry.
Clemson football will feature one of the three best pass-rushing duos in 2020 in Henry and Thomas. At this point, the Miami Hurricane duo of Quincy Roche and Gregory Rousseau will be hard to top. Both are likely to go in the Top 5 of the 2021 NFL Draft and will help lead the Miami defense back to respectability in 2020.
The Michigan pass-rushing duo of Aidan Hutchinson and Kwity Paye is a close second to the Hurricanes but still ahead of Henry and Thomas for Clemson. If Michigan is going to finally make some noise in the Big Ten, it will have to be behind the play of Paye and Hutchinson.
Unlike Miami and Michigan, the Clemson football defensive line is deep and talented. Finding enough playing time for the talent that Clemson has upfront will be a difficult task for defensive line coach Todd Bates and defensive coordinator Brent Venables; though that is a great problem to have.
Clemson football fans everywhere should be excited to see the duo of KJ Henry and Xavier Thomas in 2020, it is the pass-rushing pair we have dreamed about for three years.